Recreation Complex Board funds kiosk related plumbing work

The El Dorado-Union County Recreation Complex board heard some updates and got some questions answered Friday about ongoing issues at the complex.

Some answers were not quite what board members expected as they worked to hash out matters that included the status of efforts to complete the installation of two used kiosks that will be used as concession stands and questions that have lingered for months about a monthly lease for a utility vehicle at the complex.

During a regular meeting Friday, board members asked Robert Edmonds, director of public works, about the status of completing plumbing work to get two kiosks up and running as concession stands for the upcoming playing season at the complex.

The kiosks were donated by Murphy USA and will serve the south fields -- two soccer fields and four baseball/softball -- at the complex.

An existing concession stand serves four baseball/softball fields on the north side of the facility.

The city of El Dorado and Union County worked together to coordinate the setup for the kiosks, which were delivered from out of state last year.

The county covered the cost of transporting the kiosks from Georgia to El Dorado and the city covered installation -- work that is being performed by Diversified Construction and Design.

Setup and electrical work have been completed and plumbing work remains to get the kiosks operational.

Edmonds told board members Friday that a lack of funding for the plumbing job has delayed the project, noting that a grinder pump is needed as a component for the pressurized wastewater system in the area.

Board members also learned work is needed for the roofs of the kiosks -- news that several said they were hearing for the first time.

Edmonds said the kiosks have flat, membrane roofs that need to be addressed and suggested possibly re-roofing the buildings.

Additionally, he said concrete needed to be laid around the buildings "so that you're not standing in the mud."

Greg Harrison, co-chairman of the complex board, asked how long plumbing installation would take and Edmonds said the work would take about two weeks to complete, adding that he could get cost estimates for the plumbing, roofing and concrete work.

Edmonds excused himself from the meeting early to tend to another obligation and later called board members with an estimate of $45,000 for the plumbing work.

Harrison noted that complex's 2022 budget was overspent by nearly $60,000 last year to accommodate the $70,000 electrical work.

After some discussion, board members agreed to tap into the complex's $200,000 annual operating budget (which is split pro rate between the city and county) to cover the expenditure and gave Edmonds the go-ahead to proceed with the work.

After routine operational expenses, such as personnel/payroll, utilities etc., are subtracted from the budget, there is "$80,000 - $90,000 left in the budget to work with," Harrison said.

The board discussed possibly asking the city and county for a budget increase.

"It's getting harder and harder to run that facility on $200,000 a year, especially with inflation," said Harrison.

Board members noted that the facility is also growing with a major expansion and renovation project that has been under way since 2019.

They also discussed options for the concrete work that Edmonds proposed for pouring on the ground around the concession stands.

Among the suggestions were chat rock and old street milling material.

El Dorado City Council Member Frank Hash noted that the county, whose shop is across the street from the complex, could possibly supply the milling material.

"It's definitely easier on the feet," Hash said.

Complex board member Phillip Lansdell also said the kiosk roofs could be covered with sheet metal to help prevent water infiltration.

Board members also inquired about a John Deere Gator utility vehicle that is used at the complex and is on lease for $381 per month.

The matter has been under discussion and somewhat of a mystery for several months, as board members and the Boys and Girls Club of El Dorado -- who manages the complex, per an annual, $45,000 contract with the city -- have tried to track down who initiated the lease agreement and how long the agreement has been in effect.

The group has also discussed purchase-lease options for the UV.

When asked about the matter, Edmonds replied, "I don't know. I don't know who did it. How long has it been out there? Is it used?"

Harrison said the Gator has been at the complex for three years, with other board members and David Lee, executive director of the BGCE, adding that the side-by-side gets plenty of use.

"If it's been three years and there's been a problem with it, why are you just now talking about it?" Edmonds asked.

Harrison explained that the group has been reaching out to Edmonds and city officials to inquire about the matter for several months.

He reminded Edmonds that discussions began after complex board member Chris Nale had asked about the recurring $381 charge in monthly financial statements for the complex.

After confirming that the lease agreement is with EquipmentShare, board members asked Lee to contact the business to inquire about a buyout for the UV.

"Sounds like you've already bought it out," said Edmonds.

He pointed to another monthly expense of $94 to EquipmentShare that appeared in the monthly financial statement for the complex and Lee said that he will try to track down the expense.